It can never be easy to watch someone close to you suffer from mental health issues. It’s even harder to realize that the resilience behind seeking therapy is the intensified stigma in society about the struggle with mental health. Suggesting counseling to someone can be extremely tricky and, if done wrong, you can turn the person completely against the idea.
So how can you tell your loved ones that it’s high time they seek counseling without upsetting them or turning them against the idea? Here are certain things you need to keep in mind while suggesting professional counseling.
Show them you’re supportive of them
There are high chances that your friend is aware that they need therapy but are afraid to do so because of the fear that society might judge them or start treating them differently. In such a case you need to show your friend that you are there for them and talk to them in a non-stigmatizing language. Try to make them talk about their condition and suggest them nothing until you are well aware.
Have an understanding of time and place
You need to be very careful about the place you choose to have this conversation with your friend as having such a conversation in front of people can be extremely uncomfortable for your friend. Also, avoid talking about such sensitive topics when your friend is in a bad mood or tired or busy with work.
Do your research about professional help before suggesting them
You need to be well informed about mental help issues, signs, types of mental illness, and symptoms before having such a conversation with your friend because unknowingly you might end up triggering something which shouldn’t have been. Take the conversations with your friend seriously because at this point they are confined to you.
Make sure that your loved one realizes you are no substitute for professional counseling and have the clarity that you aren’t abandoning them. Mental health counselors are licensed professionals who are trained to treat emotional and behavioral aspects of mental health. They help you deal with and eventually overcome issues that are emotionally painful and make you feel uncomfortable.
Prepare yourself for resistance and offer to help
It is difficult to prepare someone for therapy because in most cases, the person suffering is in denial of their condition. You need to explain to them the specific area of problematic behavior, which will make them realize the need to seek professional help.
Encourage them to seek therapy or professional counseling, use your relationship as leverage, help them in finding a suitable therapist depending on their preferences. If it scares them to go for individual therapy, sign them up for group therapy. You can also go along with them for the first few sessions and wait for them in the waiting until they find their comfort.
Mental health conditions are just like any other physical health condition and require professional help. A large section of the population faces mental health issues, especially because of the pandemic, including children under 14 years old and adults above 60 years old. Studies show that mental health problems get better and recover completely if they are provided with proper treatment, support, and love.